French TV channel France 2 featured a documentary on Lance Armstrong, doping and the Tour de France last night. There was little new information, for example claims by Marie-George Buffet, the former sports minister, that she was long in conflict with the UCI’s Hein Verbruggen.

Perhaps the only news was their attempts to meet UCI President Pat McQuaid. At first he is filmed skipping across a road and getting in a car park lift, blanking all attempts at questions. It makes him look a bit shifty when he should probably have said “call my office, speak to my PR" etc rather than trying to flee. But it can’t be fun being doorstepped like this.

The TV crew came back with a hidden camera supplied to coach and “Change Cycling Now” advocate Antoine Vayer who secretly filmed between him and McQuaid. Here’s the script:

"I mean Verbruggen did a lot for the sport, he did a lot for the sport. But his decisions were always - this is just between you can me - any decisions he made on doping and so forth, you’d realize he was never pro-doping, he didn’t encourage doping. But he would always protect the sport. In other words if he had to take a decision and he could see that the sport could be damaged… he wouldn’t take the decision. I think that was his sort of philosophy, protect the sport.

I don’t follow that. Maybe I’m wrong?

It’s a bit sneaky of the TV crew to do this but it gives us an insight into the obvious conflicts of interest between a governing body wanting to promote the sport and maximize revenue and the duty of the same governing body to police the sport.

It also shows how the UCI is slowly - perhaps too slowly? - distancing itself from the past and Hein Verbruggen and how McQuaid is willing to confront problems that were swept under the carpet for too long.

Press release : UCI statement on case against Paul Kimmage


In response to questions concerning why almost one year ago the UCI initiated a court case against Paul Kimmage, the UCI wishes to issue the following clarification.

Mr Kimmage had made false accusations that defamed the UCI and its Presidents, and which tarnished their integrity and reputation.

Mr Kimmage is free to express and make public his opinions within the limits of the law and of the truth.

False accusations are unacceptable and unlawful and the UCI will defend itself against all such accusations as any other citizen or entity has the right to do.

The case against Mr Kimmage is limited to false accusations and does not concern other opinions of Mr Kimmage.   The case is based upon the protection of the personality rights.  Under the applicable Swiss law such case is directed against the person who made the defamatory statements.  In this case this person is Mr Kimmage.

UCI Communication Service

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Press release: UCI responds to USADA shifting deadline on reasoned decision and case file


The UCI wonders why it is taking USADA so long to provide its reasoned decision and case file.
Reports state that its decision has been delayed because it is continuing to gather evidence and that it has yet to complete its case file.
“The UCI had no reason to assume that a full case file did not exist but USADA’s continued failure to produce the decision is now a cause for concern,” said Mr McQuaid, UCI President.
“It is over a month since USADA sanctioned Lance Armstrong. We thought that USADA were better prepared before initiating these proceedings” said Mr McQuaid.
It seems that it would have been more useful for USADA to have used the time of the Tour de France, the Olympic Games and the Road World Championships to prepare their case in full rather than to make announcements.
It is at very least unusual that USADA would still be gathering evidence against a person after it has found that person guilty.
The UCI assumes that the reasons for any difficulty in putting the evidence together will be explained in USADA’s decision.
The UCI has requested USADA to provide its decision and case file and has learnt of the reported delays through the media and not by any official communication from USADA. The sooner UCI receives the decision and case file the sooner UCI can provide its response.

UCI Communications Services

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"Is my saddle level?"

"Is my saddle level?"

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